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The 13 Healthiest Foods You've Never Heard Of

The 13 Healthiest Foods You've Never Heard Of


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Certain to be appearing soon at a Whole Foods near you

When sliced open, this fruit looks like it came right off the set of the movie Alien

Quinoa, amaranth, matcha, breadfruit — these are the “unknown” health foods of the past decade. Now everybody and their spin instructor knows about these popular superfoods.

Click here to view the The 13 Healthiest Foods You've Never Heard Of Slideshow

But with thousands of different species of seeds, leaves, tubers, and berries on the planet, the next breakthrough health food is always right around the corner. These foods contain a unique balance of nutrients that supply the body with the basic spectrum of vitamins and minerals, but also include lesser known antioxidants, phytonutrients, and polyphenols.

Their names might sound bizarre and exotic (maybe even off-putting), but their flavor profiles are familiar: Cherimoya tastes somewhere between a pineapple and a banana, arracacha tastes like a stalk of celery mated with a carrot, and oca can taste like anything between a potato and an apple. Although not always available in their fresh form, any iteration of these fruits and vegetables should offer some health benefits, whether that means powdered, dried, or frozen. A quick internet search will show you the almost endless sources of dried arama, mugicha tea, and jackfruit chips.

Here are the 13 healthiest foods you’ve never heard of.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.


The Ridiculously Healthy Greens You've Never Heard Of

Step aside, beet greens. It's time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don't get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they're edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

While most supermarkets don't carry sweet potato greens, that doesn't mean they're impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer's markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. "I love that you get two crops out of one," says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. "We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too."

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they're best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. "The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they're wilted," she says. "I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can't go wrong there."

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
𔆒 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.